FEATURED PHOTO CREDIT: WILLIAMSON DAILY NEWS
#3 Capital made their way to Paintsville, Kentucky to take on the golden Eagles of Johnson Central in Week One. After losing to JC last year, the Cougars came into this game hungry. After a slow first half, Capital found themselves down 14-7, but a third quarter touchdown by one of the top ranked defensive lineman in the state, Kalai Clark, helped the Cougars close the gap. Another Kalai Clark touchdown came in the final minutes to put Capital on top, but the final stand from the Cougar defense is what sealed the game up and gave them the 28-21 victory. #4 Huntington also found themselves locked in a close one in Kentucky as they made their way down to match up against the Belfry High Buccaneers The Highlanders had no issues settling in as Ty Wilcoxon and Bryce Damous both put up TD runs, giving Huntington a 14-0 first half lead. The Highlander defense gave up a long bomb for a TD early in the third, but held their ground the rest of the night giving up only a field goal. Huntington came out on top 17-9.
AAA powerhouse Spring Valley invited the “AA” Pioneers of Wayne down for the 2018 season opener. The explosive offense of the Timberwolves helped them to put this game away early. It started when star RB Owen Chafin went more than 60 yards and found the endzone in the 1st quarter, but the final nail in the coffin may have been Nate Ellis’ 87 yard pass to Graeson Malashevich which had the game morally over at before the half. Wayne found the endzone late in the game, but it was too little to late as the Timberwolves rolled to a 49-8 victory over “AA” Wayne. It also was no surprise to see the Knights of Cabell Midland perform in dominating fashion for their opener. The #5 team took on the St. Albans Red Dragons for the week one contest, and showed the state that once again they mean business. The Knights rolled behind the ferocious running attack of Ivan Vaughn and Griffin Adkins. As Friday night winded down, Cabell Midland ended up christening their new field with a 62 point shutout victory.
The Year of the Beaver… Maybe Again
Every year we see The Bluefield Beaver and G-men of Graham start the season off strong with one of the best rivalries football has to offer, but this year it was a bit more one-sided than usual. The Beavers are coming off of a “AA” state championship win and have reloaded rather than rebuilt. A first quarter blocked Graham punt sparked the fire for the Beavers and got them rolling. Arnold Martin started off the scoring for Bluefield with a four-yard TD run, and after that, the Beavers didn’t look back. A 77-yard Chandler Cooper bomb found the hands of Isaiah Johnson for the next score, but perhaps it was Juice Edwards’ 114 yards and two TDs running that really put the game on ice. The G-Men battled back with some second half scores, but the Beaver defense was too solid and held them off to win 38-14.
The #9 ranked Grizzlies of Nicholas County made the trip up I-79 Friday night to face the North Marion Huskies. Things weren’t looking good for Nicholas as they found themselves waiting to return a punt down 12-0 with less than four minutes until the half. Chandler Funkhouser was back to punt for the Huskies when the snap soared over his and inside the Husky 10-yard line before he was able to get control of it. The Grizzlies were able to take advantage as QB Jared Sagraves connected with Timothy Baker in the endzone for the Nicholas County touchdown. After that TD, Zach O’Dell would go on to sack North Marion QB Dalton Malcomb for the safety bringing the score to 12-10. Nicholas County would go on to score a total of 32 unanswered points and come back to beat the Huskies of North Marion 32-12. Another big-time matchup was between #2 Point Pleasant and disrespected (by us) Mingo Central. Behind Daylin Goad and the two Hatfield brothers, the Miners went toe-to-toe with Cason Payne company. After fireworks, seeing Goad throw for 360- Payne ultimately capped the game with a long run to break a 35-35 tie late. Josh Wamsley would seal the game with a pick and break Mingo Central’s 22-game home win streak- eerily familiar.
A pair valley matchups caught our eye over the weekend. The first being George Washington and their important victory over South Charleston. The game was a barn burner from the get-go. Grant Wells and Shyleik Kinney traded blows the entire first half going to their main receivers Alex Mazelon and Samajhi Simon, respectively. The two would combine 476 yards passing with those receivers catching five of the touchdowns. With the game being 31-21 at the half, everything mattered. A overturned kick return touchdown for unsportsmanlike conduct has been argued to be incorrectly called back instead of assessed on the kickoff. Regardless, the Patriots were able to hold on and win 45-30. The War of 34 also caught our eye as Hurricane tried to take out their nearby AA rival Winfield for the 23rd time out of 24. With an early General turnover, it seemed as if the Redskins would run away. Despite step-in QB Austin Womack tossing several scores and Christian Hill’s dominant running, a big run by John Covert kept the Generals alive. The second half saw fatigue reach Hurricane especially upfront and their multiple touchdown lead dwindled. Luckily, Hill and his 186 yards were enough to hold them at bay, and the Redskins escaped with a 24-13 victory.
Big Time Runners
Would PikeView’s run scheme work without Hunter Mitchelson? Evan Rose would like to think so as he attempts a fourth straight 1,000 yard season. Their matchup with former semifinalist Summers County was back and forth- an instant classic. With early turnovers by PikeView putting them behind and big runs by Christian Pack taking the lead- the Panthers played from behind a lot. They continued to tie it up behind Rose’s rushing but touchdown catches by Keandre Sarver and Pack had them up 27-20 late. An important drive had Anthony Bisaha score and Rose convert the two-pointer. The defense would hold giving PikeView the 28-27 win. To start Fayetteville’s final season they took on nearby foe Wyoming East. This game say Jordan Dempsey rush out to a 14-0 lead. Late in the half and through the third, East relied on Caleb Bower to will them back into it and that he did, bringing it to 21-21. The game changer came on a fourth down in the fourth quarter where Dempsey plowed through multiple men for the game leading score- East couldn’t recover. Fayetteville won 28-21.
Two Woods Roll
Over in Ravenswood, two new head coaches took the field. Wahama, who only gained James Toth as coach in late July, felt their lateness. The Red Devils were nearly unstoppable behind a performance that saw scores from a handful of players. This was led by Luke Jackson who had 123 on only seven carries. The game was never close. They rallied for an impressive 42-0 opener. In a much closer game, #5 Richwood rallied to take out nearby foe #6 Webster County. Two intriguing teams definitely. Webster County would jump out first and hold a commanding lead through the first behind big runs from Luke Hardway and Reece Nutter- having the Lumberjacks down by double digits at the half. The second half saw the arrival of the Richwood passing game. Scoring 32 points in quarters three and four, the momentum was quickly flipped. QB Caleb Jantuah finished with 277 and five scores- 252 and all five were caught by Michael McGee. Richwood showed a lot of character came out 46-36 for a stellar opening victory.
If Herbert Hoover didn’t draw your attention, catch this: they scored through the air and on the ground to score 47 points and allowed -60 rushing yards by Scott. Negative sixty. Mount View started dominant with a blowout win and three-TD performance by QB Jesse Rose against AA River View. A rushing, receiving, and passing score game by Ethan Payne of Poca has many people asking: Are the Dots back? They blew out Nitro 46-8 for their first win over them in six years. Tug Valley showed utter dominance with a 56-0 victory over Hannan. A 184 and three rushing TD performance by Chad Ramsey and two interceptions by Kaiden Pack gave Greenbrier West a surprising 42-0 blowout over Buffalo. Tolsia was also surprisingly blown out by out-of-state Fairland. Finally, the story of the south might be Oak Hill’s Abe Farrow who scored five touchdowns (two rushing and three receiving) for 246 yards in a 61-20 win over Valley (Fayette). He didn’t play football last year.
AAA Player of the Week: RB Christian Hill (Hurricane)
AA Player of the Week: RB Abe Farrow (Oak Hill)
A Player of the Week: WR Michael McGee (Richwood)